Components of fitness

Finess – Basic fitness can be classified in four main components: strength, speed, stamina and flexibility. However, exercise scientists have identified six components that comprise the definition of fitness: Strength – the extent to which muscles can exert force by contracting against resistance (e.g. holding or restraining an object or person) Power – the ability to exert maximum muscular contraction instantly in an explosive burst of movements. The two components of power are strength and speed. (e.g. jumping or a sprint start) Agility – the ability to perform a series of explosive power movements in rapid succession in opposing directions (e.g. ZigZag running or cutting movements) Balance – the ability to control the body’s position, either stationary (e.g. a handstand) or while moving (e.g. a gymnastics stunt) Flexibility – the ability to achieve an extended range of motion without being impeded by excess tissue, i.e. fat or muscle (e.g. executing a leg split) Local Muscle Endurance – a single muscle’s ability to perform sustained work (e.g. rowing or cycling) Cardiovascular Endurance – the heart’s ability to deliver blood to working muscles and their ability to use it (e.g. running long distances) Strength Endurance – a muscle’s ability to perform a maximum contraction time after time (e.g. continuous explosive rebounding through an entire basketball game) Co-ordination – the ability to integrate the above listed components so that effective movements are achieved. Of all the nine elements of fitness cardiac respiratory qualities are the most important to develop as they enhance all the other components of the conditioning equation.